Section 8 Frequently Asked Questions

Ever wonder why the housing agencies are still giving Section 8 vouchers when there are either no rentals available, or they don't take Section 8?

While it can be difficult for holders of Section 8 vouchers to find a property, there are units and landlords out there who accept Section 8 Vouchers. The housing agency where you applied may have information on property owners who accept vouchers as well. Contact the Public Housing Agency for more information.

Are tenants of Section 8 units allowed to have a roommate who is not Section 8 approved?

All the members of a household must be known on the application and lease. You cannot have other people living in the unit if they did not go thru the approval process. If you want to add household members, you must contact the housing agency that manages your housing voucher for assistance and more information.

Keep in mind that when thinking about adding a household member, their earnings will be added to your household's income eligibility calculation. The property should have the appropriate number of bedrooms based on the household size as decided by the housing agency as well.

Can voucher holders get an extension if they can't find a property for the Section 8 voucher by the deadline?

According to the policy of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), voucher holders are given at least 60 days to look for a qualified unit. If the voucher holder was not able to find a suitable rental property within this time frame, a request for an extension can be made to the Public Housing Agency. The housing authorities decide on how long and how many extensions can be allowed.

Can you rent a property that accepts Section 8 vouchers even if you do not have one?

You are allowed to live on the property, but you will not receive any rental aid by doing so. You must go through the application process to receive any form of rental assistance.

What should I do if my Section 8 landlord keeps raising the rent?

If your landlord is increasing the rent to a price that is no longer affordable for you, it's time to look for another house or apartment.

Is smoking allowed in my unit?

For tenants of Public Housing unit, HUD has a policy that bans smoking on Public Housing premises. If you are a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher resident, that policy is decided by your landlord. Note that the smoking policy must be indicated on your lease.

Can a Section 8 voucher holder rent a room or space in someone's house?

Generally, the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher should be attached to the lease of a rental property. So, if you are going to use your voucher to live in a property with multiple bedrooms, it should be used for the whole property and not just one room.

There are a few circumstances, however, where this can be allowed. An example is if a household has one or more disabled person, elderly, or near-elderly, who needs a live-in assistant to give supportive services. A request for reasonable accommodation for a live-in assistant to live in the property should be made.